ias-toppers-US-exit-from-Paris-climate-deal
Current Affairs Analysis

3rd June 2017 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

US exit from Paris climate deal; Prasar Bharati; Who is called a multidimensionally poor child? Committee on corporate governance; What is a Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP)? Odisha’s disaster preparedness; Paris Agreement; ‘AmbuSens’; MITS Mega Food Park; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
June 03, 2017

Contents

Polity & Governance

  • New CEO of Prasar Bharati

Issues related to Health & Education

  • India has 31% of world’s poor kids: report

Social Issues

  • Rajasthan leads in child marriages

Economy

  • SEBI forms committee on corporate governance
  • State Bank may opt for QIP

Environment Ecology & Disaster Management

  • Odisha may give lessons in disaster preparedness

Bilateral & International Relations

  • US exit from Paris climate deal

Science & Technology

  • ‘AmbuSens’

Key Facts for Prelims

  • MITS Mega Food Park

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Polity & Governance

New CEO of Prasar Bharati

Shashi Shekar Vempati has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Prasar Bharati for a period of five years from the date of assumption of office.

ias toppers Shashi Shekar Vempati

Appointment:

  • The appointment was made on the recommendation of the three-member committee headed by Vice President. The other two members of the committee was Chairman, Press Council of India and the Secretary, Information and Broadcasting, who was also the President’s nominee.

About Prasar Bharati:

ias-toppers-Prasar-Bharati

  • Prasar Bharati is a statutory autonomous body established under the Prasar Bharati Act and came into existence in 1997.
  • It is the Public Service Broadcaster of the country.
  • The objectives of public service broadcasting are achieved in terms of Prasar Bharati Act through All India Radio and Doordarshan.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Issues related to Health & Education

India has 31% of world’s poor kids: report

According to a new report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), about 31% of the world’s “multidimensionally poor” children live in India.

ias-toppers-india-multidimensionally-poor-child

  • OPHI is an economic research centre at the Oxford University and the study is based on a survey conducted among 103 countries.

Who is called a multidimensionally poor child?

ias toppers multidimensionally poor child

  • A “multidimensionally poor” child is one who lacks at least one-third of ten indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.
  • The health dimension comprises indicators such as nutrition, child mortality, and education.
  • Under standard of living are indicators such as access to cooking fuel, improved sanitation, safe drinking water, electricity, flooring, and asset ownership.

Highlights of the report:

Global scenario:

  • Nearly 50% of the children in 103 countries were multidimensionally poor.
  • Of the 1.45 billion (145 crore) people (from the 103 countries) who are multidimensionally poor; 48% are children. That is a total of 689 million (68.9 crore) children who live in multidimensional poverty.
  • 87% of the multidimensionally poor children lived in South Asia (44%) and Sub-Saharan Africa (43%). In Ethiopia, Niger, and South Sudan, over 90 % of the children are MPI poor.
  • As for the intensity of poverty, the average percentage of deprivation in terms of the 10 MPI categories was highest in Sub-Saharan Africa, where multidimensionally poor children were “simultaneously deprived” in 58% of the indicators.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa was followed by the region described as the Arab States (53%). South Asia occupied the third spot, with children deprived in 49% of the MPI indicators.

India’s performance:

  • In terms of countries, fully 31% of the 689 million poor children live in India, followed by Nigeria (8%), Ethiopia (7%) and Pakistan (6%).
  • In terms of the number of multidimensionally poor children as a proportion of the total population, India stood 37th among 103 countries. Out of India’s 217 million (21.7 crore) children, 49.9% were multidimensionally poor.
  • In terms of absolute numbers, India accounts for both the highest and a staggering number of multi-dimensionally poor people.
  • More than 528 million (52.8 crore) Indians are poor, which is more people than all the poor people living in Sub-Saharan Africa combined.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Social Issues

Rajasthan leads in child marriages

The report of a study conducted on child marriages by Young Lives in coordination with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has been released.

ias-toppers-Rajasthan-child-marriages

Highlights of the report:

  • Rajasthan has reported the highest incidence of child marriages in the country. 2.5% of marriages of minor girls were reported in Rajasthan.
  • Rajasthan is followed by 15 States, including Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Nagaland, Assam, Maharashtra, Tripura, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Karnataka.
  • Rajasthan also topped in the percentage (4.69%) of boys marrying below the legal age of 21 years.
  • Thirteen other States reported a higher percentage of child marriages among boys when compared with the national average.
  • No marriage below 10 years of age was reported across the country.
  • Across the country, 12.9% of girls got married in the age of 10-17 years and 43.6% between 18-20 years. However, only 4.9% of boys got married in the 10-17 years age group and 11.2 % in the 18-below 21 age group.
  • There is a minor decline of 0.1% in the marriage of minor girls. The decline in rural India, between 2001 and 2011 Census, was marginally higher than in the whole of the country.
  • However, the incidence of child marriage among girls increased substantially in urban India from 1.78% in 2001 to 2.45% in 2011. The absolute number of girls married below legal age was 5.1 million.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Economy

SEBI forms committee on corporate governance

Aiming to improve the standards of corporate governance of listed companies, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has set up a committee under the chairmanship of Uday Kotak, chief of Kotak Mahindra Bank.

ias-toppers-Uday-Kotak

  • The panel would have to submit the report within a period of four months.

Other members:

  • The panel includes representatives of Corporate India, stock exchanges, professional bodies, investor groups, chambers of commerce, law firms, academicians and research professionals, and SEBI.

Mandate of the committee:

  • The committee would make recommendations to SEBI on ensuring independence in spirit of independent directors and their active participation in functioning of the company and steps for improving safeguards and disclosures pertaining to related party transactions.
  • Besides, the panel would suggest measures for addressing issues faced by investors on voting and participation in general meetings and ways for improving effectiveness of board evaluation practices.
  • Further, it will also suggest SEBI on issues pertaining to disclosure and transparency.

Background:

  • In April, SEBI unveiled the detailed corporate governance norms for listed companies. The new norms which are in alignment with the new Companies Act would be effective from October 1.
  • The new norms are aimed at encouraging companies to adopt best practices on corporate governance.
  • SEBI’s new norms provides for stricter disclosures and protection of investor rights including equitable treatment for minority and foreign shareholders.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

State Bank may opt for QIP

The State Bank of India is planning to complete a planned share sale by year-end, probably through a qualified institutional placement (QIP).

ias-toppers-State-Bank-of-India-QIP

What is a QIP?

A QIP is a capital raising tool wherein a listed company can issue equity shares, fully and partly convertible debentures, or any security (other than warrants) that is convertible to equity shares.

  • Apart from preferential allotment, this is the only other speedy method of private placement whereby a listed company can issue shares or convertible securities to a select group of investors.
  • But unlike in an IPO or an FPO (further public offer), only institutions or qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) can participate in a QIP issuance.
  • QIBs include mutual funds, domestic financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies, venture capital funds, foreign institutional investors, and others.

Rules regarding QIBs:

There are a few rules to follow.

  • The market regulator SEBI has stated that there should be at least two QIBs if the issue size is less than Rs.250 crore, and at least five investors if the size is more than Rs.250 crore.
  • A single investor cannot be allotted more than 50% of the issue.

How is the price decided?

  • The QIP will be priced not less than the average of the weekly high and low of the closing prices of the equity shares during the two weeks preceding the “relevant” date.
  • The “relevant” date will be the opening date of the issue, as decided by the company’s board. In a rising market, such as now, the QIP price is set at an attractive rate.

Why QIP?

  • For the issuing company, QIPs are less cumbersome than IPOs and FPOs. It doesn’t have to file a pre-issue document with the capital markets regulator, and only a placement document with the stock exchanges, which only has details of the issue.
  • QIP is also a less expensive mode of raising capital than, say, an IPO, FPO or rights issue.
  • For the QIBs, unlike in an IPO where an anchor investor has to stay invested for a month, there are no such restrictions with QIPs.
  • With the new government, the sentiment towards our economy has changed. The revival has opened a welcome window for companies that have been struggling to raise funds, which is why companies are lining up to raise money.
[Ref: The Hindu, Live Mint]

 

Environment Ecology & Disaster Management

Odisha may give lessons in disaster preparedness

Credited with pioneering works in the field of disaster management in the country, Odisha may impart lessons on cyclone preparedness to 14 Pacific island nations that are hit by tropical cyclones at regular intervals.

ias-toppers-Odisha’s-disaster-preparedness

  • The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had approached the State to give training to executives from these nations.

Odisha’s disaster preparedness:

  • Odisha has also adopted a “Mission Zero Casualty’ policy for all disasters.
  • After losing over 10,000 people in the 1999 super cyclone, Odisha has continuously added to its manpower and infrastructure needs for disaster preparedness.
  • It lays emphasis on micro-level preparedness, besides macro-planning.
  • Even at the village level, state government prepares a list of pregnant women and the differently-abled people. This helps in evacuations and handling of emergency situations at hospitals.
  • It has been training the local communities on how to deal with disasters.
  • The Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) has been in the forefront of rescue activities during disasters in other States.
  • The State has so far raised 10 units of ODRAF and 10 more units will be deployed soon. About 400 multipurpose cyclone and flood shelters have been constructed and 400 more shelter buildings are set to be built. The Red Cross also built 65 cyclone shelters.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Bilateral & International Relations

US exit from Paris climate deal

The United States will be withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, President Donald Trump announced recently.

ias-toppers-US-exit-from-Paris-climate-deal

  • He said this move was aimed at protecting American and its citizens.
  • The US is the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, right behind China.
  • The withdrawal process takes four years. But when it’s complete, the United States will join a lonely club.
  • Just two other countries — Syria and Nicaragua — have rejected the nonbinding agreement.

Why US is against this deal?

  • Trump says the Paris deal unfairly puts constraints on the United States coal industry, and unfairly allows some countries to continue to pollute at a greater rate than others.

Implications of this move:

  • In diplomatic and moral terms, the withdrawal represents a wilful abdication of America’s leadership role in the world.
  • And as a business mistake, the decision means the U.S. will miss out on some the $1.4 trillion global business opportunity that the global low-carbon economy represents.

What is the Paris Agreement?

ias-toppers-Paris-Agreement

  • The Paris agreement was signed in 2015 by 195 countries.
  • The Paris Agreement acknowledges the development imperatives of developing countries.
  • The Agreement recognizes the developing countries’ right to development and their efforts to harmonize development with environment, while protecting the interests of the most vulnerable.
  • The agreement’s long-term goal is to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), compared with pre-industrial times. It has an aspirational goal of limiting the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F). Temperatures have already risen by almost 1 degree C (1.8 degrees F) since the industrial revolution.
  • Under the Paris Agreement, countries are required to set national targets for reducing or reining in their greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Those targets aren’t legally binding, but countries must report on their progress and update their targets every five years. The first cycle begins in 2020.
  • Only developed countries are expected to slash their emissions in absolute terms. Developing nations are “encouraged” to do so as their capabilities evolve over time.
  • The developed country parties are urged to scale up their level of financial support with a complete road map to achieve the goal of jointly providing US $ 100 billion by 2020 for mitigation and adaptation by significantly increasing adaptation finance from current levels and to further provide appropriate technology and capacity building support.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Science & Technology

‘AmbuSens’

Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur has developed a wireless technology called ‘AmbuSens’ for remote monitoring of condition of those patients who are ferried in ambulances.

ias-toppers-AmbuSens

About the technology:

  • AmbuSens is capable of wireless monitoring of various physiological parameters like ECG, heart-rate, temperature and blood-pressure.
  • It can be fitted in an ambulance to ensure remote monitoring of patient condition by the doctors even before they reach the hospital.
  • The system preserves patient’s data confidentiality while simultaneously using the analytic and computing power of cloud computing.
  • The web interface of the AmbuSens system provides an easy-to-use graphical interface for doctors and paramedics alike with data visualisation tools such as real-time ECG graph rendering, and can be accessed from internet-enabled laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Significance:

There is no such technology at present that can help doctors at the hospital to continuously monitor the condition of the patient when the latter is on the move.

  • This technology will be a boon for the referral patients who are transported from a hospital in remote area to a city hospital.
  • Currently in such situations apart from family members, a medical technician accompanies a critical patient in an ambulance. But this technician has limited knowledge. Now with the doctors being able to monitor the patients on transit they can suggest medical interventions to the technician. This can be lifesaving.
  • The technology can be life saving for accident victims or cardiac patients who need to be transported to the hospital immediately.
[Ref: Economic Times]

 

Key Facts for Prelims

MITS Mega Food Park

ias-toppers-MITS-Mega-Food-Park

  • The first Mega Food Park in the state of Odisha M/s MITS Mega Food Park Pvt. Ltd. Was recently inaugurated at Rayagada.
  • This is the 7th Mega Food Park operationalized in the last 3 years by the present government.
  • To give a major boost to the food processing sector by adding value and reducing food wastage at each stage of the supply chain with particular focus on perishables, Ministry of Food Processing Industries is implementing Mega Food Park Scheme in the country.

 

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